Financial Crisis

Why Is Ron Paul Supporting Spendthrift Bachus for Committee Chair?

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No more bailouts until the next one.

Here is a portion of a letter I received from a House staffer. It's a message of support for Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Alabama), and will be delivered to presumptive Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Majority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Virginia).

The copy I have has no signatures, but I'm told it will be signed by the ranking Republican members of the House Financial Services Committee, including Ron Paul (Texas). Paul staffers have not replied to emails and phone calls seeking confirmation.

As I noted Thursday, Spencer Bachus has supported the majority of the most fiscally unsound, expensive and destructive pieces of legislation that have come before him in the past ten years — including but not limited to Medicare Part D, the 2008 farm bill (a $300 billion million monstrosity that passed over President Bush's veto), and most importantly the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act that produced the $700 billion TARP. Bachus is even worse than I noted earlier, about which more in a moment. So why is Paul supporting somebody who is so clearly his ideological and economic nemesis?

Profile in courage.

Ron Paul has spent a long time in Congress without getting shots at substantial leadership positions, and his support for the profligate Bachus appears to be collegial deference in exchange for which his own ascension to the Subcommittee on Domestic Monetary Policy and Technology won't get blocked. The hypocrisy of the support is evident in the faintness of the letter's praise. Bachus is lauded for working "hand-in-glove with his fellow conferees," for having "presided over a meeting of all the Republican conferees" of the Financial Services Committee, and for both "formulating" and "executing" a strategy of failed opposition to the Democrats' financial reform bill. Carefully eliding Bachus' documented history of support for bailouts in all forms, the letter gives him props for rallying Republicans around a message of "no more bailouts." Guess you have to start somewhere.

But Paul's support for Bachus can at least be excused as professional courtesy to a senior congressman. There is no such excuse for Boehner and Cantor, who will make the decision on Bachus' chairmanship, and who—whether they know it or not—are being watched closely for evidence that they have learned anything from Tuesday's election.

Bachus is not just an out of control spender. He is directly implicated in the most important domestic failure of the last decade: the refusal to rein in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac during the fight over the 2005 Federal Housing Finance Reform. This bill had the potential to impose tighter financial restrictions on Fannie and Freddie, turn off their direct line to taxpayer support, and allow the Federal Housing Finance Agency (then known as the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight) to take a much stronger role in regulating the GSEs. During negotiations over this bill, Bachus:

  • opposed an amendment by Ron Paul that would have eliminated Fannie and Freddie's ability to borrow from the Treasury;
  • opposed an amendment by Scott Garrett (R-NJ) to strike the increase in the Conforming Loan Limit for the GSEs;
  • opposed an amendment by Former Rep. Jim Leach (R-IA) to strengthen the minimum capital requirements for Fannie and Freddie;
  • and opposed an amendment by Ed Royce (R-California) authorizing the FHFA to limit the portfolios of Fannie and Freddie based on the systemic threat they posed.

Note that Royce, who is challenging Bachus for the chairmanship, supported all of the above. The rejection of these sensible restrictions on the GSEs meant that the House version of the bill ended up substantially weaker than the Senate version, and the bill never made it to reconciliation. By 2005 the housing bubble was already topping out, but three more years of mischief might have been avoided if Bachus and the House Democrats had been serious about regulating the GSEs—both of which subsequently went bust and had to be rescued by Treasury. Fannie and Freddie continue to cost us billions of dollars every month in bailout money.

But this is not the end of Bachus' trail of economic destruction. In February 2008, after the disinflation of American real estate had begun and the credit unwind was in full swing, Bachus decided that Fannie and Freddie (which at this point had only six months left to live) should drastically expand their portfolios of bad and doubtful mortgage debt. So he voted for the Recovery Rebates and Economic Stimulus for the American People Act—a $117 billion pig that upped the GSEs' conforming loan limit to $729,750. Assuming a 20 percent down payment, this means the government was now redefining an average home as one costing close to a million dollars — at a time when real estate values were two years into a decline that still shows no signs of ending. (Again, Royce and Paul opposed this idiotic-on-its-face misadventure.)

If Bachus' bizarro economics were simply manifestations of loyalty to the free-spending Republican leadership, it might be understandable. But his love of wasting other people's money is so strong he can't even say no to the harebrained schemes of the Democratics. As I noted the other day, his only objection to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (popularly known as the Obama Stimulus) was that it didn't offer enough pork. And he even went against his own party leadership to vote yes on the Obama Administration's notorious "Cash For Clunkers" program.

Boehner and Cantor have a Bachus problem. Politicians don't like to rock the seniority boat when giving out assignments. But last week's landslide vote indicates an electorate that doesn't just want to rock the boat but to sink it. Bachus is manifestly unfit to head the Financial Services Committtee, and the country's fiscal crisis is too dire for nice-guy gestures toward a complacent, mediocre congressman. If Boehner lets Bachus take over the Financial Services Committee, the Tea Partiers, and anybody else hoping for fiscal sanity, will know that he does in fact intend to let them down, as quickly as possible.

Update: Bloomberg, The Hill and Wall Street Journal all say deputy ranking HFSC member Randy Neugebauer (Texas) signed on, along with prospective subcommittee heads Jeb Hensarling (Texas; sucommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit), Scott Garrett (New Jersey; Capital Markets, Insurance and Government-Sponsored Enterprises), Shelly Moore Capito (West Virginia; Housing and Community Opportunity), Paul, Judy Biggert (Illinois; Oversight and Investigations) and Gary Miller (California; International Monetary Policy and Trade).

Of this crew, Hensarling, Garrett, Moore Capito and Paul are to varying degrees improvements, while Miller and Biggert are stinkers. Again, given the unanimity of the sub-heads, we should chalk Paul's endorsement up to necessary politesse.

The important thing to remember is this: Committee appointments are the first and probably only chance John Boehner will get to show he is serious about un-bankrupting this county. Royce is not a great choice, but he is a clear alternative to Bachus. Show us what you got, Congressman Boehner.

NEXT: From Jimmy Stewart to Kim Jong Il

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  1. Waaahhh.. Reason’s all negative about my Team Red.

    Why can’t you look at the positives?

    1. No, no…they’re called Hit&Runpublicans;. Get it straight.

      1. It’ll be nice to have the bona fide opportunity to regularly bash republitards again (especially the most obnoxious kind: fucking moral crusaders). My time’s been monopolized by liberal bashing of late (because Team Red wasn’t doing anything at all – which is always a good thing), and I’m looking forward to looking at all of those who were psyched for small government to go back on their words and start yet another moral campaign despite their fervent cries that fiscal policy is their sole concern.

  2. Very disutrbing article indeed. The very thought of Bachus being sanctioned by Congress to no doubt continue to destroy the economy is disheartening and scary.

    It’s people with voting records like Bachus’who destroyed the economy, and this appointment will be one more addition to the long list of utter failures by Congress. FAILURES !

    Thanks to Dr. Ron Paul for his un-yielding committment to the American people through honesty and integrity. He continues on, in spite of a reckless and ignorant Congress, fighting to end the robbery of the wealth of American people.

    1. You understand Paul is supporting Bachus don’t you? It’s kind of the whole point of the article.

      1. Maybe Bachus was a subscriber to Ron Paul’s racist newsletter. Maybe he sold subscriptions to it. Racists tend to support each other.

        1. I read those newletters, Max. There was nothing particularly racist in them – other than the failure to kiss a bunch of over-sensitive black asses. People don’t like to be called animals or savages shouldn’t act like them.

          1. People who don’t want to be called racist morons should sound like them. If you actually read those newsletters and think they weren’t racist, you are a fucking racist asshole of the first order. I hope you get rectal cancer and die a slow painful death.

            1. rectal cancer?!?!? That’s homophobic, Max.

              1. I think he meant “rctl”, as in “I hope rctl gets cancer”.

                Max is that kind of asshole.

            2. People who don’t want to be called racist morons should sound like them.

              As opposed to ordinary dishonest morons like yourself? No one’s going to kiss your ass either, shitmouth. You want “racist asshole of the first order,” go check out the Sharptons, Jacksons, and Rangels of the world and the modern NAACP – they make their fucking careers out of race-pimping.

              1. Shove your moronic opinions back up your fat right-wing ass where they belong.

                1. Max’s definition of “racist”:

                  Whatever he wants it to be.

                  Just like most liberals.

                2. Shove your moronic opinions back up your fat right-wing ass where they belong.

                  Ha! Ha! Scratch a “racism” accuser, you’ll find a bleedin’ lefty everytime.

              2. I second Max’s viewpoint. If you think the only racists are black people, you are a fucking racist.

        2. i like this Max guy.

  3. I love Ron Paul, but power corrupts everyone, even a bonified maverick like him. He’s been in the House WAY too long.

    Go home, Ron! Everyone in congress: GO HOME! It may be hard to believe, but other people can do your dumb ass “jobs” better than you can!

    1. He can go home now, his son can take over. Nothing like political families running the show. The Kennedy family and the Bush family would be proud.

      1. Wait a minute. If a leopard really can’t change its spots, what the hell was the point of this election? I want a refund. We’re so fucked. Doom! Doom! [Insert defeatist clich? of your own here _________]

        1. Wiemar/Zimbabwe

          1. Somalia/ZOMG!

          2. I had someone who claims to be libertarian recently recite his fear of our new overlords being the next incarnation of Weimar (and how it was merely inefficient), and how if they wanted smaller government they should move to Somalia.

            All in the same sentence.

            It was great.

            1. You were talking to Max?

      2. Fuck the show.

        I cannot stand such pseudo-thinking. One supports the ‘flat tax’ or the ‘fair tax’, without recognizing that either one still robs x-number of dollars from the people. Another decries nepotism without recongnizing that it’s no better to be ruled by a random person, than it is to be ruled by a random person’s son. And so on, and so forth.

        Reject the template.

        1. it’s no better to be ruled by a random person, than it is to be ruled by a random person’s son

          I beg to differ. Being raised in a political family inculcates the notion that lying and deception are just part of the “game”. It is particularly bad in the age of modern media imaging since the children of politicians are used as stage props. They learn that when their handlers tell them to go stand on the X, then they must go stand on the X. How can anyone develop an independent will with that kind of an upbringing?

          1. Are you implying that it is somehow desirable to be ruled by someone simply because they possess an ‘independent’ will?

            Being raised in a political family inculcates the notion that lying and deception are just part of the “game”.

            In my estimation, those things are the very essence of the game. Maybe not if you’re talking about running for city council or something, but on the national level, you should not expect to see any players who you would consider to be ethical; success at this level requires too much ambition for that ever to be the case. If anything, nepotism in this arena produces a subjectively better result, since such players may still retain some motivation to avoid destroying their family name; no such motivation exists for no-name candidates.

            1. Let me FTFY:

              If anything, n Nepotism in this arena produces subjectively better terrible results, since such players may still retain some motivation to avoid destroying their family name are motivated by a desire to stay in the good graces of others in the static ruling class without regard to what is good for or desired by the rest of the country; no such motivation exists for no-name candidates.

              Citizen legislators: still a good idea after 223 years.

              1. Okay, you just keep on telling yourself that.

                1. Gore, Bush, Kennedy, Rockefeller, Dingell, Mirkowski, Cuomo, Daley, Long, Roosevelt …

                  1. Inherited power: still a bad idea after thousands of years

                  2. Don’t forget Brown….

                    I think a major reason this happens is the power of branding. People recognize the last name, and maybe they liked the dad or just feel more comfortable voting for someone they think they “know” rather than the other guy they know nothing about.

                    1. Let’s hope Jeb Bush never runs then

            2. Are you implying that it is somehow desirable to be ruled by someone simply because they possess an ‘independent’ will?

              Actually, my position is that it is bad to be ruled by someone who has no independent will since they conceal the real power wielders.

              An independent will is a necessary, but not sufficient quality.

              1. I think his point is that whether ruled by one with independent will or not, we’re still being fucking ruled, and the end result is identical.

          2. “I’d rather entrust the government of the United States to the first 400 people listed in the Boston telephone directory than to the faculty of Harvard University.” (William F. Buckley, Jr) or we can just make it like Jury Duty after we’ve gone back and nailed down the ‘concept of liberty’ given to the federal government in the Constitution, which enumerated specific powers, based on ‘negative liberty’ rather than ‘positive’. Once that is done, power seeps back to the States like rats abandoning a ship.

        2. “it’s no better to be ruled by a random person, than it is to be ruled by a random person’s son.”

          This is only true if the people being selected are truly random. Alternatively, it could be true if all degrees of being ruled (as you put it) are equally unacceptable – but that’s entirely subjective.

      3. Fuck all you pricks, they got my health plan passed over my dead body — now you have to live with it. You’ll never get me, I’m immune to karma. HHHaaaa!

    2. I am afraid I have to agree with you here. It pains me to say it too. I am very glad he is in congress but it is a sad day if this is a sign of things to come. I hope it is not. There may be more to this story than outsiders know also. I hope that is the case.

      But if I were him I would make this my last term in Congress. Maybe one more run of POTUS but if he does not win please go home. Unlike most of congress he actually has served us well. Now he deserves a chance to take a vacation and maybe write his memoirs.

      1. If it gets Ron Paul on the Monetary Policy subcommitte, it might be worth it. Part of the reason Ron Paul couldn’t get a true audit of the Fed passed was because he had to depend on other people on the committee and in the Senate to support his bill. With Ron Paul on the right comittee and his son in the Senate, maybe it will finally go somewhere.

    3. Only if he’s replaced by someone that isn’t a total d-bag(like the rest of the House).

  4. If anything, this article is too optimistic. I doubt the vast majority of Tea Partiers are even aware of things like this. They react to what they see happening around them and to what FOX tells them. I don’t have anything against the Tea Party personally; I’m just calling it like it is.

    1. Well, yes, it’s very inside politics and most people aren’t aware of things like this. That’s why this article is a good thing, it’s a part of making people aware.

    2. b-b-b-but.. Hayek is a best seller!

      1. Find me ten self-identified ‘tea partiers’ who have read, and understand the concepts outlined in, Denationalisation of Money.

        1. Here I am!

          Yes, I have protested at several TEA Party protests and have read Hayek. I am more Rothbardian in my views however. I disagree with Hayek’s views on fractional reserve. I consider fractional reserves to be a type of fraud. If you do not have enough money to pay back all of your customers should they all withdraw their money at once this is FRAUD! But Hayek makes a great many good points as well. It is a work that should be read more.

          1. One down, nine to go, PIRS. 🙂

            And it is my opinion that your position derives from the mistaken instinct that money should simultaneously be a conductor of value, as well as being a concrete value itself. I hold that it should not — its value should float in such a way as to ensure that what you put in is what you get out at a later date. I leave it to competition between purely floating (read: paper, unbacked) currencies in the market to ensure that this happens.

            As I like to say, gold makes good money in much the same way that a spork makes a good fork.

            1. Lets take gold of of this for a moment and talk about ethics. Let us suppose I run a pawn shop and you bring in some items as collateral on a loan. It should be your expectation that if you can repay the loan within a certain agreed upon window of time that you will be able to retrieve these items. What would your reaction be if I instead sold those items and when you came back with the money plus interest that I had already sold them. “Well, I just had a ‘pawn shop run’ I might say. Do you think this would be ethical?

              Assume none of these items are made of gold 🙂

              1. But — I was talking about money, and not the warehousing of goods.

                Regardless, in the scenario you present, my question would be: what, precisely, was the nature of our agreement? Here, you have muddied the waters by saying ‘it should be your expectation that‘; why should it be so? Because, the question of ethics cannot be addressed at all until we know the answer.

                That is to say, you indicate that I have sustained a loss due to your risking my deposit; did you so with my knowledge and consent, or not?

                1. Money is a good whether you acknowledge this or not. Its origins are in the barter of warehouse receipts.

                  As for why one should expect that you should get your deposit back? I have visited many a pawn shop both as someone in need of a loan and as someone needing inexpensive used goods. I have never come across one that did not operate in this fashion. Yes, I did have to sign an agreement stating the nature of the agreement. I suppose if some pawn shop wanted to insert a line such as “We [the pawn shop] have the right to sell your items whenever we want to.” They probably could. Such a pawn shop would not stay in business very long.

                  In the case of pawn shops there is a free market. In the case of banks there currently is not.

                  I am aware the Hayek wanted a more free market and so long as in a Hayekian paradigm I would be free to set up a bank with 100% reserves [of a currency backed by a commodity] and free to advertise this fact than fine, if someone else wants to do otherwise they should be free to do so as long as their customers are aware of this. In a true free market I know which bank would stay around longer. It would be the bank with 100% reserves.

                  1. In my opinion, regarding money, there is only one metric which matters: does it maintian a steady value over time?

                    In the case of commodity-backed money, the answer is, by definition, no. If you want to hold a commodity, you should do so directly. If you want to store value, you should use a money whose issuer is concerned solely with maintaining its value at a consistent level, i.e. measuring market demand and adjusting volume accordingly.

                    1. “If you want to hold a commodity, you should do so directly.”

                      So I assume you are opposed to American Express Traveler’s Cheques?

                      “If you want to store value, you should use a money whose issuer is concerned solely with maintaining its value at a consistent level, i.e. measuring market demand and adjusting volume accordingly.”

                      What incentive would the first thousand people have to use this new brand of currency?

                    2. So I assume you are opposed to American Express Traveler’s Cheques?

                      I don’t quite see how that would follow.

                      What incentive would the first thousand people have to use this new brand of currency?

                      Ask Helicopter Ben.

                      Really though, there is no answer to that question; it is just something that I see as happening organically at some point. You’re probably talking on the two-hundred year time scale here, but who knows — I don’t know of any way to predict how much parasitic theft of their value ‘the people’ will ultimately be willing to stand for. We still generally see sovereign currency as something that is ‘right’, but there exists nothing in nature which dictates that should be the case; should that common perception change, all bets are off.

                    3. 0x90,

                      American Express Traveler’s cheques exist as a way for people to safely carry a “money substitute” with them to touristy locations when they go on vacation far from home. Commodity backed currency could be viewed in much the same way; as a substitute for a commodity (i.e. gold or silver). One advantage that paper currency does have over gold is it weighs less and is foldable.

                      I think the U.S. Currency will collapse to Weimar levels in a year or so. Unless the politicians get the gonads to completely repudiate the national debt (I would love to see that happen! Stick it to the Chinese tyrants!) it must necessarily happen. When that happens it may allow a free market in currency to develop. Maybe the “Liberty Dollar” will be decriminalized and come back as a possibility. The Liberty Dollar, by the way, is (or was) backed by silver.

                    4. Are you sure you’re not arguing against your own point with the traveler’s cheque thing? What happens if American Express goes out of business while you’re on vacation? What is really backing that instrument?

                      On the issue of collapse, I do tend to think your view may be just a bit too conventional. The nature of communication has been fundamentally changing with the advent of the internet, and the operation of the popular consciousness with it (witness the exponential growth patterns of the various social networks). When a freestyle currency market develops, I really only see it as being an internet thing, and had not the internet come into being, I would not hold alot of hope for free market money ever becoming a very realistic concept. It will remain remarkably difficult for any commodity-backed currency to materialize, anyway, seeing how hard it is to compete against a government, just in terms of the force you would face, given the physical requirements of establishing such a thing.

                      That said, I don’t tend to see a Weimar type of scenario occurring in the near future; to say so is to rather significantly downplay the weight of what happened there. Of course I don’t have any objective basis for saying so.

                      But assuming it did, consider things in more concrete terms. I am self-employed, and I do business primarily with people in countries other than my own. In the event of currency collapse, I still want to do business, but I am left with only a few options. The first one I might think of is to press PayPal into service as my medium of exchange. The efficacy of doing so would depend on others also being willing to do the same. Given that the infrastructure is already in place though, I don’t see this as being completely unlikely, given the utter lack of other options.

                  2. Something to consider: If you were to actually prohibit frac-reserve banking, you’ll find yourself with non-interest bearing account and fees to maintain the account.

                    After all, if you have to hold all deposits, you need another way to make money or even just break even.

                  3. Something to consider: No fractional-reserve banking = no interest on deposits + maintenance fees.

                    It’s not quite fraud.

              2. I think that’s a bit unfair. The fact is pawn brokers are being entrusted with collateral for a loan, on the other hand banks are merely holding money. However, I would argue more people should be informed the bank only keeps a fraction of cash on hand. If they knew that, they would not put as much money in banks or expect higher interest on their deposits.

                1. James P. Hacker,

                  And banks are also being entrusted with your money. The product one is entrusting is simply different. The basic concept is the same. A pawn shop is simply a bank for people in tight situations who have “stuff” but need liquid assets.

                  1. A full two pages of intelligent give and take with no one being called a retard. A ReasonOnline record!

    3. Well played, heller. That’s what we have all done as well. Just call it like you see it.

      1. I have no incentive to lie about or put spin on the Tea Party, liberals do.

  5. Ron Paul for Speaker of the House! Help the momentum by contacting your Congressman and asking them to support Ron for Speaker. http://www.dailypaul.com/node/148016

    1. Nothing like keeping your expectations based in reality.

      1. We need a balance of dreamers and cynics. If it were not for the dreamers, Ron Paul would not have grown so big in popularity. If it were not for you cynics, we wouldn’t have the joy of being able to read unclever snark.

  6. the 2008 farm bill (a $300 million monstrosity that passed over President Bush’s veto),

    $300 billion. Would be that the farm bill were only counted in millions.

    1. 300,000 Million. There ya go.

  7. Note that Royce, who is challenging Bachus for the chairmanship, supported all of the above. The rejection of these sensible restrictions on the GSEs meant that the House version of the bill ended up substantially weaker than the Senate version, and the bill never made it to reconciliation.

    For those of you familiar with shrike, these are the pair of bills that he blames Bush for “pocket vetoing” even though they never made it to reconciliation.

    Bachus will be term limited out of the chair in two years (since he’s been ranking member for the last four too), so some observers think that Royce is simply raising his profile ahead of that. Still, two years is too long.

  8. Of course, one of those subcommittee chairs who signed on to the letter is Rep. Jeb Hensarling.

    Rep. Hensarling, like Rep. Paul, has a better record on spending but is supporting the status quo chair (so that he can get the subcommittee chair.)

    Still, this has to weaken Jacob Sullum’s case for supporting Rep. Hensarling. If Jacob gets his way there, one of the House leadership deciding about Bachus v. Royce will be Hensarling, who has already declared for Bachus.

    1. Good point. I look forward to Reason reversing and making the case for Michelle Bachmann for conference chair. Surely they won’t continue to favor the GOP establishment over the ” libertarian-leaning” radical constitutionalist babe from Minnesota.

      1. I started reading/skimming this article thinking misreading it as Bachmann (and assuming that the article was pointing out that she’s got a spending problem). I was thinking, well, she may just be predictably nutty enough that Paul could use her to his advantage. A telegenic nut that the Hannity’s of the world love, and lefties fear, that he could steer toward the light on the complex stuff. She’d make a great attack dog – in the same way that the most intimidating police/security guards/TSA drones are the ones that are palpably stupid, and probably have some serious/dangerous misunderstanding about what their mission is.

        But Bachus? That photo says more than the article. Guy looks like a limp fart.

        1. Reason’s objections to Bachmann are mostly fig leaves to cover for its dislike of her subculture. Sullum joined in the chorus of personal smears by repeating gossip about what she allegedly said in her church. His objection to her based on accusations of earmark hypocrisy is weak considering much stronger accusations of the same sort can be made against Reason favorite Ron Paul.

          Hensarling and Bachus are both reliable big gov’t Republican Party loyalists. Try to be more consistent Reason.

          1. “Reason favorite Ron Paul.”

            That is a cute notion.

          2. The lengths Reasoners will go to to disparage those they are at cultural odds with is ridiculous and detrimental to their overall mission. Yes, we get it, you’re NOT conservatives. Move on.

            1. There is an interesting parallel between the dislike of Reason writers for politicians like Bachmann and one of the corrupting effects of being a long-time Washington politician.

              One widely recognized consequence of being part of Congress for a long time is that politicians learn to not make waves with the rest of the Congress club. A desire for social acceptance overrides the Congress critter’s desire to do what he or she knows in his or her heart to be the right thing to do. A similar effect seems to be at work when Reason discusses politicians who come from a different subculture. In both cases, weak-willed personalities yield to the prevailing views within their own social circles even at the cost of stated core principles.

              An interesting question is “What creates the prevailing view?” Is it the overall drift of American culture? Does it have something to do with the population density and consequent social diversification of the places in which the writers and politicians reside? Or is it the greater ideological commitment and stronger personalities of those supportive of progressive causes?

              1. Great points!

      2. Right, Bachmann is “libertarian leaning”. Like in her intelligent design leanings, and her anti-homo leanings, and her pro-war leanings. But hey, she’s slightly attractive, so that makes it all OK!

        1. Bachmann is “libertarian-leaning” where it counts, light bulb policy:

          Bachmann introduced the Light Bulb Freedom of Choice Act, to repeal the ban on conventional light bulbs in favor of compact fluorescent light bulbs. She argued that the government has no business telling consumers what kind of light bulbs they can buy: “By 2012, incandescent light bulbs will be no more,” and “Fluorescent bulbs are more polluting because of their mercury content. We are working on a light bulb bill. If the Democrats can hose up a light bulb, don’t trust them with the country,” Bachmann said

          1. Light bulbs, as we all know, are the most pressing issue we have today, so this proves her libertarian bona fides. Hey look, Elvis!

            1. This is the US Congress. The “libertarian-leaning” bar is low.

              Bachmann is “pro-science”:

              She has asserted that since carbon dioxide is “a natural byproduct of nature”, it is actually a beneficial gas required by plant life. She stated that because life requires CO2 and it is part of the planet’s life cycle, it cannot be harmful. In a statement she made on the House floor on Earth Day, April 22, 2009,

              You guys should like that.

              1. Gosh, I’m super glad that she’s A-OK on all the meaningless culture war proxy battles and she’ll really stick it to those nasty liberals while the country goes bankrupt.

                1. So the government removing choice from the market place is now a “meaningless culture war proxy battle”. Hey look,Gay Marriage!

                  1. KULTUR WAR! KULTUR WAR! TEAM RED TEAM BLUE GO GO GO!

                    1. Like in her intelligent design leanings, and her anti-homo leanings,

                      Episiarch, you bring the “culture war” issues into the argument while dismissing property rights as insignificant.

                  2. Hey look, a conservative with a straw man argument about the culture war!

                    I’m not arguing that we shouldn’t unban incandescent light bulbs. I’m trying to point out that shit like this insignificant compared to the fiscal disaster that the GOP was supposedly re-elected to avert. I’m disappointed that they are choosing to pursue these small battles instead of, you know, fixing the big problems. But it doesn’t surprise me in the least, considering how scoring points in the dumbass culture war battle generates much more enthusiasm in their conservative base than actual reform ever will. They are pissing on a tree and not seeing that the forest around them is on fire.

                    1. Bachmann is more of a minarchist than about 431, or so, of the other members of the House of Representatives.Low bar, but still, I’d prefer her in a leadership position over “fiscally responsible” party members who have a history of supporting big, unconstitutional spending.

                    2. But it doesn’t surprise me in the least, considering how scoring points in the dumbass culture war battle

                      Wait, we’re extending “dumbass culture war battle” to moves to repeal stupid economic legislation?

                      Shit, I guess Reason is full of “dumbass culture war battle” articles all the time.

                      I think that she’d be a bad choice for conference chair, and I like Hensarling and he’s done a good job with his votes, but, shit, it’s not like Bachmann has voted the wrong way on the GSEs or any of the, you know, “big problems” to which you’re referring.

                      If I’m considering at whom to focus my anger, I’d take Bachus over Bachmann. But then again I’m not as obsessed with the culture war as you appear to be, Bingo.

                    3. Oh and, hey, yes, Rep. Bachus has sent a letter indicating his support for Hensarling… not that that makes him unusual, since most everyone in the Caucus favors Hensarling here, but I’m sure that Hensarling’s support for Bachus played into that.

                      OTOH, I know that Royce brought Bachmann out to Orange County for a fundraiser a few months back.

                      Would be a little amusing if Royce and Bachmann end up supporting each other while Hensarling and Bachus support each other.

                    4. Bingo’s right. Who cares what light bulbs you can or can’t buy if our money is worthless.

                    5. Sure, I agree. But Bachmann voted exactly how you want on the monetary issues.

                      So I’m glad we all agree that’s it’s silly to waste time on Bachmann when Spencer Bachus should be target of our ire.

                    6. Ever consider that if you’re on the side of Michelle Bachmann, there’s probably something wrong with you?

          2. Dude, don’t be dissin’ on the lightbulb thing. I hate those corkscrewed pig-dick bastard CFL’s. Outlawing fucking proper lightbulbs. Unbelievable. Yet so believable. Freaking retards.

    1. Yes, well, Rep. Bachus is one of those who has appeared to get religion on Fannie and Freddie after the crisis, even though he was one of the Establishment moderates decrying efforts to deal with the crisis before it happened.

      Rep. Jerry Lewis is another, since he was a big spending when the GOP had a majority and he had Appropriations, but now he’s making nice on earmarks and with Rep. Flake in an effort to appease the freshmen and true fiscal conservatives.

      The good side for those who want to limit spending is that all the old bulls are promising that they’ve gotten off the sauce and have reformed for now, despite their past transgressions. The bad side is that they’ll backslide soon.

  9. Perhaps Ron Paul sees it as inevitable that Bachus will be the chair and will have more influence by backing him.

    1. Maybe he traded support for Bachus in exchange for chairmanship of the Domestic Monetary Policy Subcommittee.

  10. Two things, he is a committee chair not a dictator. Yeah, Bachus ought to be run out of public life and spend the rest of his life mumbling to himself living in a dumpster behind a 7-11. Yeah that is true. But that isn’t going to happen sadly. And even though committee chairman are powerful, they are not all powerful. And most of the crap that this clown would really want won’t get any support.

    Second, as John Thacker points out above some of these creatures have “reformed”. It is not that they are any less craven or any smarter. It is that their survival instinct kicks in and they stop stealing for a bit. So, I expect that now that the heat is on, Bachus will try to go legit and stop stealing for a while in hopes of saving his career.

    This sucks. But it is not really that big of a deal. And lastly, politics is about compromise and getting the lesser of possible evils. If putting this clown in as chairman is what is necessary to reaffirm seniority and turn Ron Paul lose on the Fed as a committee chairman, that is a price I am willing to pay.

    1. I agree with John and RON PAUL IN 2012!

    2. even though committee chairman are powerful, they are not all powerful

      If putting this clown in as chairman is what is necessary to … turn Ron Paul lose on the Fed as a committee chairman, that is a price I am willing to pay.

      1. The power to investigate is different than the power to legislate.

        1. different from

  11. Is it just me or does Bachus look like Paul Lynn in that picture?

    1. Lynn or Lynde? Uncle Arthur from Bewitched who was quite the trickster?

      1. Lynde. The guy from Bewitched and Hollywood Squares.

        1. He looks like Lynde’s uglier older brother, who was bitter that Paul got all the twinks.

          1. Fucker! I think I pissed myself.

  12. That is part of the problem I had with this election. Yes lots of spendthrift Democrats and Republicans lost. But the Republican leadership that did such wonders in 2006, 2008 and before are still there. How can we know they have really changed there spots without letting them do more idiotic things first?

    1. Most of the GOP old guard is still there. I don’t think you can say the leopard even bothered to change its spots. The Dems have been so horrible in 2 years time that people have basically re-elected a Republican House that possesses the exact same ideology as the Republican House in 2000-2006. Which isn’t good because that means we are still up the fiscal shit creek without a paddle.

      God I love mixed metaphors.

      1. Bingo, leave the mixed metaphors to Cavanaugh. He’s king of the jungle when the rubber meets the road, and gets the slam dunk. Or something equally nonsensical.

  13. I don’t know why this would surprise anyone. Paul lards up every appropriation bill before he votes against it — knowing full well it will pass. He also votes against every free trade bill — saying they aren’t free enough — when, in fact, he’s just voting in favor of the protectionist interests of his district.

    He’s just another politician.

    1. I am shocked. Next you are going to tell me that libertarian hero Russ Feigngold voted against the Patriot Act as a meaningless piece of political theater because he knew it was going to pass no matter what rather than his actual commitment to civil rights. Politicians cynical and manipulative? Who would have thought such a thing?

      1. WE DON’T UNDERSTAND.

  14. Unfortunately, Ron Paul can’t chair every committee. A non-issue.

  15. Well at least Hypocrite-in-Chief Obama clarified things with the Indians — trade cooperation is a win-win proposition; while Michelle, decked out in another frumpy outfit, impressed the locals by playing hopscotch.

    1. Robert Gibbs announced today that the President and First Lady would extend their Asian tour from 12 days to a full year. They really like the reception they are getting, which proves the world-wide popularity of our fearless Commander. Joe Biden will assume all duties in the meantime.

    2. Yet another clue to how in the tank the media is to the Obamas is the regular fawning over her supposed fashion sense. I’m no expert but her fashion sense often seems questionable.

      1. I’ve commented before that her fashion advisers have a cruel sense of humor.

    3. Best Post Ever

  16. I am greatly disappointed that The American People? did not vote 100% Libertarian in the primaries and were forced to elect Democrats and Republicans and Independents in the general election. We have been duped by this charade and promise of a republican form of government, wherein We The People? elect our politicians from a pool of our neighbors and then are forced to complain about them doing what the majority of us want them to do and not what they should do and would have done if they were all enlightened libertarians. I for one will look this gift horse in the mouth.

    1. Container: heavy saucepan, large baking sheet
      Prep Time: 5 minutes
      Cook Time: 20 minutes

      Ingredients
      – 1 cup water
      – 2 cups sugar
      – 1 cup corn syrup , preferably light
      – 2 cups raw peanuts
      – 1/2 teaspoon salt
      – 2 tablespoons butter, plus extra for pan and fingers
      – 1 teaspoon baking soda
      – 1/2 teaspoon vanilla (optional)

      Directions

      Mix together in a 3-quart, heavy bottom saucepan the sugar, water, corn syrup, salt, and peanuts. Stir over low heat until well blended, then raise heat to medium-high and boil without stirring to 300? F. on a candy thermometer. If working without a thermometer, see the TIP below.
      While syrup cooks, generously butter a baking sheet and set aside. Measure butter, baking soda, and vanilla. Have them within reach.
      When syrup reaches 300? F, remove from heat and immediately add butter, baking soda, and vanilla. Stir in and then pour and scrape candy onto prepared sheet. Spread it out as much as possible?it will be stiff and begin to harden quickly. It can be pulled and stretched (with buttered fingers) to make a thinner sheet, but do this very carefully, as the candy will be hot.
      Cool on the sheet and break into pieces. Store air-tight in a waxed-paper lined container.
      TIP: Bringing the brittle up to the proper temperature is critical for a successful peanut brittle. Using a candy thermometer is the best method to use to ensure you are cooking the brittle to the proper temperature. It is well worth purchasing a candy thermometer if you are going to be making candies that must reach a specific temperature.
      If you don’t have a candy theremometer, have a bowl of ice water near the stove. When the boiling syrup begins to turn golden brown, drop a small amount ? about 1/2 teaspoon into the cold water. When the syrup immediately hardens into a brittle string or ball, it is done.

      1. That seems like a lot of effort just to illustrate your disapproval of my comment. Or do you keep these things on hand for just such an occasion? That’s rather sad, but to each his snarky own.

        1. It probably took him all of 20 seconds to copy and paste that recipe, but keep patting yourself on the back buddy.

          1. It probably took him all of 20 seconds to copy and paste that recipe

            So he (you?) does keep that reply on hand for just such an occasion? I’ve reached the same audience with far fewer words.

            1. Poopy Pants

              Yep. Just two words.

            2. We keep them on hand for trolls. It is our way of “feeding the trolls”.

            3. I’ve reached the same audience with far fewer words.

              Yeah, but the recipe is much more useful. Mmmm, peanut brittle!

      2. How come I never get recipes? How much do I have to bust your balls for a good Curried Chicken dish?

  17. I used to like Ron Paul before I found out he was a Jesuit Freemason bent on world domination.

    1. Odd, I thought Paul was of Quaker heritage rather than Catholic.

      1. ..he belongs to the NOVUS ORDO SECLORUM and worships the Dollar.

        1. He’s one of ours!

  18. For those of you hoping to see some fiscal discipline exercised by the GOP House majority a little historical review is in order.

    Jan 2001 – Jan 2007.

    1. And don’t forget that at least a few of the nitwits are already talking about a pre-emptive strike on Iran. Because really, what could be better than starting another war while conducting quantitative easing?

      1. It beats nuclear Iran by miles.

        1. You’re asking to drop the equivalent of a hydrogen bomb on our own solvency to stop a country (with whom we are not at war) from developing a weapon that they are incapable of even delivering to our soil.

          1. War is the health of the state, Bingo. Understand now?

            1. War is the health of the state

              Holy clich?s, Batman!

              1. and whore is the wealth of the … something

                1. Whore is the health of the Episiarch.

              2. I don’t think the word “cliche” means what you think it does.

          2. a weapon that they are incapable of even delivering to our soil

            Don’t have to. Just drive it in a 35 ft. cabin cruiser into NY harbor.

            btw, I keep forgetting. Is the talking point “Iran will have the bomb in 3 years” repeated every 2 years or is it “Iran will have the bomb in 2 years” repeated every 3 years?

            1. Pretty much. If you want to use a nuclear weapon offensively in a major US city it’s a hell of a lot easier and more cost effective for a nation to buy a warhead from some shithole like Pakistan or even bribe a Russian general than it is to spend billions on a nuclear program.

              If Iran were going to attack us with they would have already done so by now.

              1. This is ridiculous. Iran has been attacking the West since 1979. It’s high time to put an end to it-our government has a moral responsibility to.

                Iran doesn’t need rational reasons to spend bazillions on a nuclear industry, just their own pride. Hell, this even describes much of American politics!

                1. I’d say the West has been attacking Iran since 1979, but hey, what’s a few CIA-backed coups and support for foreign invaders between friends?

                  “If you want to end the warfare state, you must end the states that sponsor anti-American terrorism.” This made me laugh fairly hard. End the warfare state through endless war, huh?

                  1. They took Americans hostage for 444 days so I’d say they started it in 1979. The US had every right to support Sadaam. It was also America’s right-though not necessarily a smart thing to do-to remove a pajama-clad, crazy, oil-industry nationalizing, and pro-soviet elected autocrat from power.

                    What endless wars are you talking of? We’re in the endless war with Iran. We end it by invading them, imposing our desired government, and leaving. Worked in Japan and that was an enemy hundreds of times stronger.

                    1. Yeah, it’s working in Iraq and Afghanistan too, eh? Although it’s probably too late in some cases how ’bout this soulution: Leave people the fuck alone.

                    2. Seriously what’s the deal with Iran? What happens if Iran retaliates in the same way the Pentagon has predicted they will and they cut off our oil supply in the Middle East? How long do you think it will take the United States to drift into chaos with oil at $10 dollars a gallon?

                      And anyway, when has it ever been a good idea to start a war when you are already at war with two other countries? Especially when you are 14 trillion dollars in debt.

                      Yeah, let’s risk completing destroying our economy just because Iran kidnapped some people over thirty years ago.

                  2. Kill ’em all and let Jeebus sort it out.

                2. Actually, it’s America that’s been attacking them since 1955.

                  1. Actually, 1953 was the year of the Iranian coup d’?tat carried out by the CIA and British intelligence.

                    Of course, the wogs should have known that being caned was for their own good, shouldn’t they, Cytotoxic?

                    I must confess that sometimes the depth of historical ignorance on display here is staggering.

                    But, while you can pretty much say that the US threw the first punch in this brawl and has pretty much deserved what it has gotten back the people who get hurt today are not the same people who did the damage in the first place.

            2. And why would Iran be more likely to do this then Pakistan, which by the way, already has plenty of nuclear weapons?

          3. Iran with a bomb, endlessly financing anti-American terror, is an H-bomb upon our fiscal situation and our civil liberties. If you want to end the warfare state, you must end the states that sponsor anti-American terrorism. I’m not talking about that wack-ass nation-building shit, just hammering Iran until we achieve unconditional surrender.

            1. Uh . . .

              Iran has no control over our civil liberties, unless you make that out to mean that you give government carte blanche to even further curtail our civil liberties because of Iran.

              1. They got some of translators killed.

            2. Bombing to produce unconditional surrender would require nukes. Achieving unconditional surrender w/o nukes would require ground troops, lots of them. Bad idea.

              1. Why? Ground troops would easily take Iran, so long as we use brutal and uncompromising force.

                1. Iran has a population of 74 million (cf. 31m for Iraq and 28m for Afghanistan) and terrain which is mountainous. The US military is already stressed for manpower by its current commitments.

                  Iran’s terrain is good for the defender. Conquering Iran would not be a matter of driving a bunch of tanks into the country. There is a limit to the effectiveness of brutality. The Soviets were more brutal in Afghanistan than the US would ever be in Iran, barring some extreme event such as the detonation of a nuclear weapon on US soil.

            3. Saudi Arabians are behind more terrorism against us than Iranians. Why does no one ever suggest we invade them?

        2. I’d trust Iran with nukes more than I trust our “ally” Pakistan who already has them.

          1. People who find support for Obama over McCain incomprehensible now may have forgotten the hit song of 08: “Bomb, bomb Iran” by Johnny McCain and the Neo-cons…

            1. Bomb, bomb Iran

              I didn’t like that song. It was too derivative.

            2. Whereas obviously the two of you prefer that we had invaded Pakistan, as Obama promised to during the debates and the campaign.

              Some of us took neither of those statements seriously, whereas others thought that Reagan had invaded the Soviet Union after he signed legislation making it illegal.

              1. Iirc Obama said that he would be willing to invade Pakistan “if” yada yada yada. That’s important, no?

            3. No need to bomb Iran. Just send them a nice computer virus to fuck up their facilities. Stuxnet anyone?

              1. Yes, the Obama people do deploy covert ops in a more fruitful way than the Bushies deployed military might.

    2. Behind every silver lining there is a cloud.

    3. Yes, what you see is a big jump from 2000-2002 (during that recession), followed by fairly flat spending from then until 2007, followed by an even more enormous jump.

      It still gives credit to the “GOP: Bad, but those other guys are even worse” argument.

      1. “followed by fairly flat spending from then until 2007”

        I see a jump from 17.9% of GDP in 2000 to 19.38% in 07. Comparably I see a decline from 21.78% in 92 to 17.98% in 00.

        1. Yes. But essentially all of that jump is from 2000 to 2002, as I said, which was largely driven by the recession, since government spending has automatic stabilizers. After 2003 it’s entirely flat until it leaps up in 2008 after the budgets passed in 2007.

          Still, with the record from 1994 to 2000 it’s easy to see why you would join the rest in us is welcoming the Dem Prez-GOP Congress combination.

          1. Actually, I should say that from 2000 to 2002 the jump is about half defense and half automatic stabilizers, and then when the economy improves defense replaces that, and then the % stays still.

            The vast majority of the extra spending under Bush was defense, which of course you can use as something against him.

          2. The decline starts in 92 and runs in the “right” direction through 94 and continues, so it is hard to just credit the divided government set up from 94 on.

            “But essentially all of that jump is from 2000 to 2002”

            How do you figure that?

            1. I figure that because if you look at the graph, the entire jump in spending as a portion of GDP occurs between 2000 and 2002. (Well, 2003, but the budget adopted in 2002.)

              Total federal spending as a percentage of GDP was lower in 2007 than it was in 2003.

              I can’t see how you can possibly disagree with this.

        2. So who gets credit/blame? Republicans or Republicans?

          Or does the President control spending now?

  19. Can we at least hold the Ron Paul attacks until he runs for President? After all, both parties are the same (except RP) and they both support endless Wars for Israel, it all started nearly a decade ago under a false flag attack.
    9/11 and Israel, here:
    http://www.iuniverse.com/Books…..-000190526

    1. SHOO! SHOO! OUT OF MY GARDEN TROLL!

      1. OUT OF MY GARDEN TROLL

        Yeah, once your garden troll gets infested it’s tough to get it healthy again.

        1. Usually you can clean them off with a healthy amount of urine

          1. tnx. I’ll try that.

            1. Can you post your email or web site so I can go and find out more information.?

  20. Ron Paul will not sign any of this fiscally destructive and irresponsible legislation, but he cannot stop those in his party from doing so. This is a smear campaign against Ron Paul, because the real spendthrifts and wastrels in the Republican party, like Bachus and Boehner don’t want Ron Paul to get any favorable recognition for not joining them in this underhanded tax scheme. These vicious men, Bachus and Boehner and for that matter McCain and Linsay Graham etc., are the real problem in the Republican party. They are RINOs. Ron Paul stands against these two-faced parasites and they will say or do anything to smear Ron Paul’s reputation. Ron Paul is a serious threat to their corrupt and fraudulent activities. With Rand Paul and other strong Tea Party candidates entering Congress now, Ron Paul’s influence is growing, and being felt in ever widening circles. This has Boehner, McCain, Lindsay Graham and Bachus, not to mention the democrats up at night wringing their hands. They are wringing their hands over what Ron Paul might do next. Ron Paul, now with help of his son is taking dead aim at the FED and Benny “the Bagman” Bernanke. Ron Paul and his suporters want to END THE FED. But, the FED is a huge and very unconstitutional source of loot for the Democrats and the RINOs to spend and pocket. RINOs like Bachus, Boehner, McCain and Graham, etc.

    1. Since you name all those people opposing him within the party and Ron all by himself, have you considered it is Paul who is the Republican In Name Only?

      And that that is a good thing?

      1. By that standard, anyone who supports marijuana legalization is a Democrat in name only.

        Party politicians != party

        1. I would think any Dem who got the kind of treatment Paul got from the other potential nominees in the GOP primary could hardly be said to be the “real Democrat” and the others DINOS.

          1. Ah, so you agree that Dennis Kucinich isn’t a “real Democrat” then? He’s the one that actually got disinvited from a debate in 2008, after all.

  21. Now that Repubs are halfway in charge, I’m not quite as important anymore anyway, right?

  22. Well, maybe Paul is not a virgin, but he’s much less of a slut than most in Congress. I may not agree with all of his stances, but his principle has, while not being perfect, impressed me a great deal.

  23. Further evidence that the End Times are upon us

    QE goes facebooky

    1. It’ll be even scarier when QE2 goes facebooky.

      1. On a more serious note, check this out.

      2. I just made Bernanke my friend. I should be getting a bailout soon.

  24. Every major idea we have is practically tailor made to destroy this country, if not the planet. For freedom!

    1. As opposed to our ideas, which are tailor made to benefit society, if not the universe. For the children!

      1. It’s better than what we’re offering!

        1. Trust us, there’s no real difference.

  25. Come on, Tim; you’re a reporter at an important magazine read by a large portion of Ron Paul’s supporters. Why don’t you ASK him why he’s doing it?

    If he won’t answer the question, report that, too.

    1. The fourth sentence of the post is calling your name, James.

  26. Nice to see Scott Garret from NJ in line to be a sub-committee head. He used to be my Congressman and while not perfect overall he is pretty good fiscally. I believe he’s also part of Ron Paul’s study group or meeting group or whatever.

  27. Update:

    We need to eliminate as many committees as possible, along with departments and spending. Well, except Housing and Community Opportunity. That sounds like a winner.

    1. Just watched Rand Paul on the Tivo from This Week. He sounded right on. A great voice in the Senate. It’s worth watching.

      1. Just watched it on ABC’s web site. Seems like a pretty bright guy. Hw wasn’t intimidated by Amanpour at all.

  28. Spencer Bachus happens to be MY local congresscritter, and I can assure you that “mediocre” is too nice a word to describe him. He’s not very impressive in public hearings, but he’s even less impressive in person. Honest. 🙂

  29. It would be fine thing for Ron Paul to be Chairman of the Subcommittee on Domestic Monetary Policy and Technology. It’s worth his holding his nose and supporting Bachus, who is no worse than the next-best option.

    1. Maybe Ron should apply this newfound sense of political pragmatism to the rest of his legislative activity, rather than voting NO on everything, when a selective smattering of YESs can help the cause of liberty far more.

      I’ll dig up the example of two years ago: Bob Barr’s yes vote on the Patriot Act was far more productive to the cause of liberty than Ron Paul’s no, because Barr got concessions from the bill’s supporters because they knew he would vote yes if they threw out the most onerous provisions and put a sunset provision in.

      No one in the House gives a crap about what Ron Paul thinks on a bill because they know he’ll vote no regardless.

      1. Whew! Good thing the Patriot Act is going to sunset out of existence any day now. Compromise FTW!

      2. Choosing to put Bachus in charge of a committee isn’t unconstitutional. The Patriot act was. So your comparison sucks.

    2. Of course, all those other areas don’t offer the self-aggrandizement opportunities that a subcommittee chair position does. I hope that’s not Ron Paul’s motivation, but previous experience has shown him to be something of an attention whore.

  30. Lick my last name!

  31. Kill the politicians!

  32. In case anyone was wondering why the US is seen by Palestinians (and Muslims in general) as a less-than-fair-arbiter in the Mideast “peace process”.

    VP Biden pledges unwavering support for Israel

    In a speech that drew enthusiastic applause from the assembly, Biden repeatedly stressed that the Obama administration backs Israel.

    He said the Obama White House “represents an unbroken chain in American leaders who have understood this critical strategic relationship” between the two countries.

    “We will not yield a single inch,” he said.

    Biden did not detail what he and Netanyahu talked about. But he did said Netanyahu agreed that there was “no substitute for direct face-to-face negotiations leading eventually to states where two peoples are secure: A Jewish state and a viable, independent state of Palestine.”

    And he described past differences between the U.S. and Israel as only “tactical in nature, never fundamental.”

    In other words, continue destroying civilian infrastructure in Gaza while blockading it and refusing to let building materials in, continue giving sweetheart financial deals to Jews who want to build settlements on occupied land outside Israel’s borders, etc., as much as you want. As long as you continue pretending to negotiate in good faith, you have the US and its bipartisan “unbroken chain” of sychophantic leadership desperate for the Jewish vote and Jewish campaign contributions, in your corner.

    I wonder if he’d make that statement to the Palestinian Authority.

    1. In other words, continue destroying civilian infrastructure in Gaza while blockading it and refusing to let building materials in, continue giving sweetheart financial deals to Jews who want to build settlements on occupied land outside Israel’s borders, etc., as much as you want.

      It is called war.

      Germany and Japan had similar experiences, as did North Korea.

  33. I love it how Reason goes out of its way to smack Ron Paul, the only Libertarian in Congress and the only principled politician.

    1. Ron Paul is not a capital-L Libertarian, and his pushing of earmarks for his own district (the only legislative items he’s ever actually achieved) puts the principled status in question too. Along with supporting Bachus.

      I mean, you could say (as Moynihan does) that he’s doing it as a political calculation to gain the subcommittee chair, but that doesn’t exactly scream “principled”, now does it?

      1. Have you never heard Paul explain his position on earmarks? Look it up, let it sink in, then decide what you think is right or wrong.

      2. Paul’s support of earmarks is in no way incompatible with libertarianism, big “L or little or whatever. Earmarks do not increase government spending; in fact, they are preferable as earmarked funds are removed from the general appropriations pot, and thus do not fund wars and larger entitlement programs. Moreover, it is also better to let taxpayers have some say in where their tax revenue is allocated. Of course no spending is better than earmarked spending, and so Ron Paul votes against the bills after he adds the earmarks.

        That you find Bob Barr’s vote for the fucking Patriot Act a positive move for liberty, and yet can’t understand how earmarked funds are less dangerous than untrackable, general appropriations funds, is telling. And who are you to decide who is and isn’t a big “L”? I’ve watched Bob Barr try to defend *both* of his votes for the Patriot Act and it’s vomit inducing. As for legislative achievments, Ron Paul got over 300 votes for a House bill to audit the Fed; the earmarks are more important, how? I’d also call it pretty principled to advocate the abolition of the Fed, CIA, FBI, etc. in a national Republican Primary debate.

        1. Earmarks do not increase government spending; in fact, they are preferable as earmarked funds are removed from the general appropriations pot, and thus do not fund wars and larger entitlement programs.

          Eh, they’re also legislative grease that helps larger appropriations bills pass. Many a Senator or Representative would be against a larger spending bill if they didn’t get that money for their pet program.

          We can agree that the entire effect of, e.g., Rep. Paul’s vote against CAFTA was to make the tariff on socks higher, since that ended up being the price of the vote of Rep. Robin Hayes (R-NC), however.

      3. Earmarks are generally preferable to new programs.

  34. Thank you for your opinion.I am totally agree with your view.I hold the same pointswith you.And thanks for your shareing again.And i think you will go with me.

  35. Cytotoxic|11.7.10 @ 8:28PM|#

    We end it by invading them,

    Yes, because overthrowing their government in 1953 wasn’t a sound enough caning.

    imposing our desired government, and leaving.

    Yep, the Shah worked out so well for us, didn’t he.

    God, teh stupid, it burns.

  36. Cytotoxic, a perfect example of someone who, being ignorant of history, wants to repeat it. Good and hard.

  37. Judging by many of these posts, Reason is now the favored reading material of nihilists, not libertarians.

    1. And snarky defeatists.

  38. There should be two “c”s in the Congressman’s name, not just one.

    Bacchus is the Roman name for the the Greek god Dionysus.

    From Wikipedia:

    ‘Introduced into Rome (c. 200 BC) from the Greek culture of southern Italy or by way of Greek-influenced Etruria, the bacchanalia were held in secret and attended by women only, in the grove of Simila, near the Aventine Hill, on March 16 and 17. Subsequently, admission to the rites were extended to men and celebrations took place five times a month. The mystery-cult may have been seen as a threat to the political status quo. The notoriety of these festivals, where many kinds of crimes and *political conspiracies* [emphasis added] were supposed to be planned, led to a decree by the Senate in 186 BC ? the so-called Senatus consultum de Bacchanalibus, inscribed on a bronze tablet discovered in Calabria (1640), now in Vienna ? by which the Bacchanalia were prohibited throughout all Italy except in special cases that required specific approval by the Senate. In spite of the severe punishment inflicted on those found in violation of this decree, the Bacchanalia were not stamped out, at any rate in the south of Italy, for a very long time.’

    What they called Bacchanalia, we call sessions of the U.S. Congress.

  39. I like Ron Paul a lot, but don’t get me wrong here; earmarks are the way in which Congress divides up tax plunder. It’s not a perfect system — by no measure. The real problem today is that the good ole boys and gals in Congress have way, way, way too much of our tax (stolen off your paycheck and out of your bank account) money to piss-off or redistribute or just pocket (which they do to a disheartening degree). It’s called CORRUPTION and Washington is a veritable sea of dishonest dealings and double-cross. Most of the “pork barrel” loot they take home isn’t really necessary. Most of it is used to buy votes, and little else. That is one reason why cities infrastructure in the US is deteriorating everywhere. There is no way a gang of two-bit, self-serving politicians in DC can know best where these funds should be placed to do the most good. Only the free market can tell us that, but the people in Washington think they know better. They don’t, and that is one of the principal reasons why our nation is in such a gigantic financal mess.

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